An Analysis on the Singing and Speaking Voice

In this brief post, we will look over the two kinds of intonations used in the voice you use when you speak in all kinds of situations, and those you use when you sing. If you compare the two, you’ll find that they are very different. Take this, for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr9JQ-oF3jQ what do you notice in this example? The fundamental frequencies range from180-300 HZ, with very high resonance, with chronological age of eleven years, as measured by our calendar system for the speaking voice. In some countries, we do not celebrate birthdays or chronological ages at all.
The singing voice, however, is far more different. The fundamental frequencies not only follow the notes corresponding to the tuning system given to the singer, but the resonance is altered to give it an etherial hypnotic effect. Let’s try a quick test. If you say the sound “ah” in your normal voice, for males, the resonance will be deeper than that of females. Likewise, if a male were to apply the singing voice to the “ah”, then his resonance would be even deeper. This means that the correlation with the speaking and singing voice vary directly because the voice of the female will also deepen in resonance when she applies her singing voice.
How does one achieve this goal, and why do many not know about it? The first thing to understand is that sound is simply a wave. A pure tone is a sound that sounds like a hum, without any extra tones above or below it. These extra notes are called harmonics. We calculate the harmonics based on the ratio of 1:2, and can be multiplied by 2X. Noise is an irregular sound vibration, another concept to keep in mind. Both male and female children have the same kind of vocal range, but some learn to talk the way they should according to their gender assignment. Males tend to speak with a dark, sinister sound while females speak with a brighter, more cheerful tone. Of course, if you were to be among lots of children and you were blind, your only cues are to figure out who is who based on these characteristics. Also note that there may be overlaps, which makes us misgender a person if we can’t see them or if they are using a communication device.
To begin with, many people get used to hearing what their own voices sound like when it vibrates inside their head via bone conduction, which is why they don’t like to hear what they sound like in a recording. People with perfect pitch are able to make adjustments to their voices in a matter of seconds and they learn to memorise just how much work is needed to apply that effect. That’s why some say, “It came from God”. It’s up to you to believe it or not, but in reality, they just listened to what something sounded like and started imitating it until they achieved the quality they wanted. They kept on doing this subconsciously until they had the memory wired into their brain.
You must have some basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology to understand how chambers work and how you can manipulate them with your cerebrum and cerebellum. One unique characteristic about opera singers is that their vibrato measures approximately around six to seven beats per second, but in some old phonograph records, people had a faster vibrato of eight to nine beats per second. This is caused by totally relaxed muscles slowly  contracting and relaxing again. This causes the fundamental frequency of the voice to go up and down in pitch in rapid succession. The same can be done for overtone (harmonics)), but it would need the work of moving the tongue up and down. Now, how we make our resonance chamber bigger is by opening up the throat, as if we were yawning. This forces your vocal tract to expand, the glottis to be half-open to make the voice have a breathy quality, and the tone emitted by the vocal folds will have lower harmonics.
There are several kinds of terms that describe the specific techniques used in singing. Legato means you slowly link the vowels and consonants to each other and you give them a nice, easy flow. In some operas, the singer has to staccato to describe tention, and again, vibrato is a very important aspect of singing. In some pieces, there is spoken words called Sprechstimme and Sprechgesang.
The reason many people are ignorant about why our voices sound so much different when we sing, such as what you witnessed in this example is because they cannot make this distinction clearly, even singers have trouble understanding this concept because all they learn is how to do this, without getting in depth. They do it without knowing that there are ways of describing it. Anyone can achieve this goal, even youngsters, as long as they have the motivation to learn this skill to pursue a career in the arts.

2 thoughts on “An Analysis on the Singing and Speaking Voice

  1. prascilla January 14, 2014 / 8:12 pm

    Sadly, I’m not sure if Jackie’s career in Opera will last for very long, because of jealousy from peers her age. If she knows how to handle it then cool. But knowing how evil Hollywood is, she’ll have to be very careful to be sure that she does what she wants and nobody else forces her to change who she is. Because at 14 years old she’s still at the impressionable age where most 14 year olds are easily convinced about anything, even if it’s not right. I see her doing well commercially in Pop a few years down the line, but more like big ballad style pop like Leona Lewis and Celine Dion. But with Opera, kids her age will probably be too dumb to understand and appreciate the true talent she really is. Why do you think I hate lots of mainstream music? Because it’s sexist, misaginistic and shallow. It sort of goes back to what I posted on Facebook about so-called talent scouts not caring about true talent.

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  2. GreenGablesFan January 15, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    My purpose of writing this post was to show that it was not just limited to gift and talent, which in some people lie dormant, waiting to be awakened by dawn, as in Sleeping Beauty.
    I wish I could reach out to Jackie and show her what real talent is and how she can express herself in a much better sense than she has now. I wish I could be there to help in the making of her music, as I love orchestral music and would gladly do anything to be involved n a people-friendly environment. I wish I could provide a safe haven for everybody from different backgrounds and assure the that they will always be appreciated for who they were, and not to be manipulated at such a young age where one can be easily convinced into believing something that is not at all true.
    I did some research on the castrati, which were castrated male eunuch singers who retained their unual voices to sing like an angel. Had I known about this I’d probably have done it, but sadly, I haven’t. The good news is that my voice is where it is, not too deep but not necessarily high. It’s androgynous.
    With warm regards,
    Green Gables FAn

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